Joseph abseils down Fareham drill tower on his eighth birthday

TOWERING Joseph Tillotson, 8, was the youngest abseiler raising money at Fareham Fire Station. Inset: Joseph getting kitted up
TOWERING Joseph Tillotson, 8, was the youngest abseiler raising money at Fareham Fire Station. Inset: Joseph getting kitted up

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A BRAVE youngster went to dizzying heights to raise money for charity by abseiling down a fire station’s 50ft drill tower.

Joseph Tillotson decided to do the stunt at Fareham Fire Station to celebrate turning eight years old and to raise 
vital funds for the Rainbow Centre in Fareham.

Joseph, from Fareham, was the youngest in a group of 25 abseilers, all raising money for the centre which supports adults and children with cerebral palsy, and adults with MS, Parkinson’s or recovering from a stroke or head injury.

Joseph said: ‘I felt really terrified.’

Joseph’s mum, Lucy Tillotson, 47, said that he saw the advert at school and came straight to her to ask if he could do the challenge.

Initially she told Joseph he couldn’t do the event as he was not old enough.

Joseph went back to his mum later and pointed out that he would be old enough on the day.

Lucy said: ‘He wanted to do this for children who weren’t as able as him.’

Joseph said: ‘I did it so I could help 
other children have a better life and a better education.’

Lara Bull, from the Rainbow Centre, said the centre was happy to let Joseph join in on the challenge.

On the day, staff from the centre gave Joseph a chocolate birthday cake and sang Happy Birthday as he came down.

And Joseph enjoyed himself so much that he abseiled down twice.

The ‘Age 8-80’ event was organised as part of The Rainbow Centre’s 25th anniversary, for which the centre is holding a Challenge 25 series of events such as sponsored sky diving.

Overall the abseiling event raised just over £3,000.

As well as being the youngest abseiler in the group, Joseph also raised the most money – collecting £749.27.

Joseph also held a cake sale to help raise money. One of his neighbours heard about what he was doing and was so impressed that £50 was donated.

As a result the centre has invited Joseph to collect a special prize for his efforts.